Supernatural returns for its seventh season Friday at 9/8c on The CW with two burning questions: What do you do when you become God? And what do you do when you're the new God's former best friends?
After ingesting all of the souls and their powers in Purgatory last season, Castiel (Misha Collins) declared himself the new God and demanded Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles) bow down before him ... or die. Although the brothers have encountered and even defeated their share of demons, angels and other non-humans before, God is a different story.
"It's going to prove to be very difficult, not only for Sam and Dean, but Jared and Jensen now that Misha gets to say that he's God," Ackles joked at Comic-Con this past summer. "Good lord!"
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Collins, however, is less demanding than his on-screen alter ego. He has more fun and less fire and brimstone in mind for Castiel. "I'd have him sing some karaoke, probably 'Eye of the Tiger,'" he told TVGuide.com. After viewing a sneak peek of the season premiere and speaking to the cast and producers of the show, we imagined what Castiel's 10 Commandments for the new season would be. Besides, can't you just imagine him declaring precepts from a mountaintop, with his trenchcoat flapping in the breeze? [Warning: The following contains minor spoilers from the premiere and should not be considered a true religious text in any way.]
Castiel's 10 Commandments for Supernatural Season 7:
1. Thou shalt not kill ... unless you're a new, all-powerful God, of course. Castiel is hopped up on power and exacts his own brand of justice on those in Heaven and on Earth. "We talked about people who were doing stuff in the name of God that was corrupt or wrong," showrunner Sera Gamble said. "We were looking for fairly big off-screen targets, people who would be ruining a lot of people's lives. We tried not to make it left-wing, right-wing politics. It really is about hiding behind God to do wrong things to people, at least in Castiel's mind. And now, he feels that's his personal responsibility to clean house."
2. Thou shalt honor your hunter brother. After previously being separated either physically (Sam doesn't recommend getting trapped in Hell) or spiritually (Sam doesn't recommend leaving behind your soul in Hell), the brothers will be more united this season. Ackles said,"Last season was just a nightmare not having that partner in crime. Soulless Sam ... it took the character of Sam out of Dean's life. This season they're on the same team, they're headed down the same road together. Due to that aspect of this new God, there is released an evil that the boys have no idea how to handle. ... All the tools of the trade that they've used over the past six years or all their lives are pretty much useless."
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3. Thou shalt take any opportunity to use guest stars from the Whedonverse. Former Buffy the Vampire Slayer co-stars James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter will play a bewitching couple in the fifth episode. "That was not a coincidence, that was really hard work on the part of our casting directors," said Gamble. "This couple seemed like a good opportunity to cast a couple. The first idea floated [out] by the network was, 'Is there a real couple we could cast?' Our very creative and savvy casting directors came back with this genre-specific idea that I think is great. I think it speaks very directly to our fan base. In this way, our casting directors really understand the people who watch the show."
4. Thou shalt use flashbacks to show off young Winchesters. Ackles directs the third episode, which gives an insight into teenage Sam (Colin Ford). "We go back in time and see Sam as a 15-year-old," said Ackles. "He's hunting and doing what he doesn't want to be doing at that age, but he does it because that's what father and older brother are telling him to do. It's a little slice of life from his point of view and from his past." Gamble added, "Young Sam gets left behind in a town while Dean and John go off to hunt and he runs into this girl and has a brief but important relationship with her. Then this is sort of the present-day story, so we use sort of a parallel structure to tell those two stories. [Jewel Staite] plays that old friend of Sam's that he's been reunited with after a long time." It should be noted that the casting of Firefly's Staite also abides by the third commandment.
5. Thou shalt allow the other Winchester to have his own story arc. "Dean will have lots of issues this year that he's going to have to deal with," executive producer Bob Singer said. "We have an episode coming up and he basically is on trial with an Egyptian god, Osiris, who weighs your heavy heart against a feather, and if your heart is heavier than the feather, then he does you in. It's all about carrying guilt and that sort of thing. It's not just, 'Do I feel bad?' but 'Do I feel guilty?' That's kind of a big turning point for Jensen's arc this year." Gamble added, "Osiris calls [Jo (Alona Tal)] as witness against Dean."
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6. Thou shalt practice self-absorption, especially if you're a Crossroads demon of Scottish origin. "You'll see more of Crowley (Mark Sheppard). Crowley is sort of the ultimate, self-interested character," Gamble said. "He always find a way to bend whatever is happening to his own best uses. As the weather kind of changes, he kind of finds a way to insert himself into the situation. I mean, there's a reason he's lived this long, there's a reason why he always finds the parachute under his seat. As things evolve this season, he'll try and adapt. He's always fun so we keep throwing stuff at him."
7. Thou shalt include frivolous episodes to lighten the demon-fighting mood. Could there be another episode like "The French Mistake" on the horizon? "There are a couple coming up that are quite fun," said Singer. "I think it's a pattern we've always followed by picking up the thread of what happened last year in those cliff-hangers we sort of threw some of these darker, more mythology-driven episodes. Once we've established what the playing field is for this year then we let ourselves go."
8. Thou shalt introduce new allies because the old ones keep getting killed. "There's an old acquaintance of Bobby's named Frank who is a bit off the grid," said Gamble. "As Sam and Dean get squeezed in an upcoming episode and have to kind of drop out of sight a bit more, he sends them to Frank, and Frank is this really difficult guy to deal with. [At another point,] Dean is stuck in an emergency situation and ... Bobby sends him this guy named Garth, who's going to be played by D.J. Qualls, so he's very quirky."
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9. Thou shalt play with time travel just so Sam or Dean can play dress-up. Last season the Winchester boys went to the Old West, and this season they're sticking a little closer to home time-wise. "We're breaking an episode right now that's pretty cool where [they time-travel] by a whole new means actually. It's not an angel time-travel episode. One of the guys ends up stuck in 1944, which is very different from getting stuck in the Wild West. It's a darker time period. It turns out that a case they were trying to solve back then is the same as the case that Sam and Dean are trying to solve now. The tropes of the time period are really fun. In its own way, it's iconic and as fun as the Western."
10. Thou shalt not kill the Impala. At the end of last season, Sam and Dean's favorite mode of transportation was destroyed (again). "Why does all the evil in the universe hate the Impala so much?" Gamble said. Singer added, "[Dean] will fix it. It'll be back. Like the show, it's the car that would not die."
Supernatural rears its righteous head for its seventh season on Friday at 9/8c on The CW.
Are you happy to see Sam, Dean and Castiel back? What would you like to see this season?